Ukraine, Russia war looms over Switzerland’s UN presidency

Streaming HUBMay 2, 2023

Russia could not escape its war against Ukraine during its highly controversial presidency of the UN Security Council, and the war over Switzerland will still be on as it takes up the month-long presidency on Monday for the first time since becoming a full member of the United Nations. 2002.

At the traditional opening press conference, Switzerland’s UN ambassador Pascal Berisville said his country’s approach has been to work for the unity of the council’s 15 members and be “a bridge builder”. She acknowledged, however, that she expects “some heated or polarized discussions”.

Fireworks are almost certain during Switzerland’s signature events, with sessions starting on Wednesday on how to ensure trust to sustain peace in the future and a second session on May 23 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

He said the council is also highly likely to hold a meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, which is sure to pit Moscow against Kiev’s allies.

“We will try to hold (open) meetings in a peaceful manner,” Barrisville said. “When it comes to closed consultations, I might ask council members to actually maintain respect with each other in a slightly more proactive way.”

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Russia began its presidency by putting the spotlight on its commissioner for children’s rights, who is accused of war crimes for sending Ukrainian children to Russia along with President Vladimir Putin. Then, it went after the West by claiming it was violating international laws by arming Ukraine.

In his premiere event last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended his country’s military action and accused the US and its allies of undermining global diplomacy – the foundation of the United Nations, which was created to prevent World War III. I went.

United Nations Russia

Pascal Christine Barrisville, Switzerland’s ambassador to the United Nations, speaking during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the United Nations Headquarters, April 24, 2023. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Envoys from the US and several allies responded to the video briefing by Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova by walking out of the council room. Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia’s accusations of arming Ukraine prompted a fiery response that Ukraine has every right to defend itself against Putin’s invading forces.

And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Western envoys condemned Lavrov for violating the UN Charter by invading Ukraine and annexing part of its territory.

Switzerland’s ambassador Berisville was among those who accused Russia of violating the UN Charter, saying Ukraine’s “state sovereignty, territorial integrity and prohibition on the use of force against its neighbor are in violation of the Security Council’s mandate.” continued with the military invasion of the permanent member.” ,

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The presidency of the Security Council, the United Nations’ most powerful body charged with maintaining international peace and security, rotates monthly among its 15 members in alphabetical order.

John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, said Russia’s presidency reflects the “loose nature” of the Security Council, following Putin’s February 2022 invasion of the smaller neighbor. Ukraine has been paralyzed since. , The same is true during China’s presidency of the council, he said.

“Clearly, they are not allowing serious discussion of some of the very real security crises around the world, and even if they were to allow discussion, they would prevent the Council from doing anything through veto, he said in a statement. Phone interview with AP.

Bolton said it was “unfortunate but ironic to say the least” that the end of the Cold War in 1990–1991 promised that the Security Council could actually be effective because of the veto power of the United Nations and has been in place for decades. Can remove global crises after paralysis. States and the Soviet Union have ended up pointing out the ongoing paralysis over Ukraine and other hotspots because of Russia’s veto.

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